Posts for: January, 2016
Preventing cracked heels is preferable to spending hours treating dry feet. There’s definitely no shortage of over the counter ointments or home remedies for getting rid of cracked feet. But preventing cracked heels is so simple and does not cost a cent either.
Cracked heels are so inconspicuous that we tend to ignore them. After all what’s a little callous on your feet. Cracked heels when left untreated can have its own share of symptoms. Itching and bleeding from your cracked heels require the attention of a foot specialist or podiatrist. This is necessary when home remedies are ineffective. Dr. Joseph Stuto is a podiatrist who specializes in helping people with treating foot conditions.
Possible Complications of Cracked Heels
If you’re still consider cracked heels to be a superficial imperfection, this might not be life threatening but could be irritating and prevent you from performing simple activities. Below are possible complications of cracked heels:
Difficulty in walking or running
Itchiness and a burning sensation around the heel
Inability to stand for long periods of time
How to Prevent Cracked Heels
Why suffer from the trouble of treating cracked heels when prevention is much simpler. People with dry skin have a higher tendency of developing cracked feet so be sure to keep your feet moisturized.
Check skin products that have high alcohol content – alcohol sucks up your skin’s natural oils. Skin astringents are notorious for containing high alcohol levels.
Moisturize after bathing – give your skin an extra layer of protection against friction and keep your natural oils locked in. The feet may not get the same level of attention unlike other areas of the body because it is less visible. So don’t forget to give your feet the same level of love and attention.
Minimize sauna and steam baths – if you’re suffering from dry skin, minimize or avoid saunas and steam baths. Just like taking a hot bath, this will remove natural oils from your skin.
Let your feet breathe – good air circulation helps keep your feet healthy. Avoid tight fitting shoes to prevent excessive sweating.
Load up on water – keep your skin hydrated by giving it a steady source of moisture.
Minimize your coffee and alcohol intake – both of these drinks are diuretics or things that promote the elimination of liquids from the body.
Foot drop is a term used to describe difficulty when raising the front foot. While walking and foot drop is present, you may find yourself dragging your foot and toes in the ground. Generally, foot drop is not a disease in itself but rather one of the signs of present muscular, anatomical or neurological problems.
Consult a podiatrist for proper diagnosis and treatment. Dr. Joseph Stuto is a podiatrist who specializes in foot care and treating foot disorders.
This condition may be temporary or permanent depending on the cause. Diseases that may cause foot drop includes but not limited to:
a. Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, affects 1 out of 2,500 people and is currently incurable. This disease is characterized by progressive muscle tissue loss and also the loss of touch sensations on different body parts.
b. Polio, caused by poliovirus where a person experience fever, vomiting, diarrhea, legs and arm pain and neck stiffness. Muscle weakness is also evident on polio patients that leads to difficulty in moving.
c. Muscular dystrophy, group of muscular diseases that is characterized by continuous muscle weakness particularly the skeletal muscles which may lead to poor balance, frequent falls, muscle spasms and even respiratory difficulty.
d. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, known as Lou Gehrig's disease or Charcot disease, this is usually characterized by muscle stiffness and twitching which slowly worsens because of muscle wasting.
e. Multiple sclerosis, the demyelination of the myelin sheaths which is characterized by a wide range of signs and symptoms that affects the neurological, motor, sensory, autonomic and visual functions of the person affected.
f. Cerebrovascular accident, brain attack or most commonly known as stroke, occurs when the cells die due to lack of blood flow to the brain. This is usually characterized by difficulty speaking, understanding and moving.
g. Pinched nerve, a nerve root injury of the spine. The person feels pain, numbness or an uncomfortable sensation.
h. Diabetes, this occurs when there is an increase level of blood sugar. People having diabetes are more prone to nerve disorders.
**Aside from these diseases, hip or knee replacement surgery can also cause foot drop.
It is important for you to know the underlying reason of the foot drop so that proper treatment can be given to the main cause and correct the foot drop condition in the process if it is just a temporary condition.
Hallux rigidus is an arthritic condition found in the joint located between the big toe and long bone of the forefoot. Arthritis is the inflammation of joints caused by the gradual degradation of cartilage between the joints.
The joints are constantly exposed to wear and tear and the joints in our feet are exposed to twice the pressure of carrying our weight when walking. Just imagine the time we spent running or jumping and you have the perfect recipe for a joint injury. But these are not the only causes of joint damage in the big toe. Shoes also have a part in the development of big toe arthritis.
Wearing tight, closed shoes especially those which press the toes against each other can lead to joint damage. High heels in particular which shift your weight towards the toe area exposes the big toe joint to stresses which it was not originally designed for. The joints become inflamed as a result of damaged cartilage and with time hardens to form a foot deformity.
Signs and Symptoms
Possible signs that you are suffering from big toe arthritis include:
- Pain felt at the base of the big toe
- Swelling, redness and tenderness
- Pain that is immediately relieved by resting the feet
- Pain that steadily increases in intensity with foot movement
- Stiffness in the big toe
Visit a podiatrist for any signs of big toe arthritis. Pain is a clear indication of possible injury. Dr. Joseph Stuto is a podiatrist who specializes in detecting big toe arthritis and other foot disorders.
Diagnosis of Big Toe Arthritis
A podiatrist starts his assessment by visually inspecting the big toe area for any swelling and tenderness, an indication of inflammation. They also assess joint movement and compare it with the other foot. For positive identification, an X-ray, MRI could be used to view extent of joint injury.
As with any other disease, early diagnosis gives you the best chance of full recovery. It helps you stop the progress of the disease for easier treatment options. An anti-inflammatory medication could be used to reduce swelling and pain medications for pain management. However, surgery may be the only option for those suffering from severe big toe arthritis.
Diabetes can lead to serious foot conditions. Most foot disorders in diabetics are caused by two major complications, peripheral neuropathy and poor circulation. This is because high levels of sugar in the blood can destroy delicate nerves and fine blood vessels in the feet.
A major complication seen in Charcot foot is severe foot deformity which can lead to permanent disabilities. A number of treatment options are available both conservative and surgical.. This is done to treat fractures or correct the foot deformity.
Diabetics should practice proper footwear religiously to avoid serious complications. A visit to a podiatrist can help diabetics identify possible foot conditions. Dr. Joseph Stuto is a podiatrist who specializes in helping diabetics suffering from Charcot foot.
Neuropathy or nerve damage is a diabetic complication that can lead to loss of sensation in the feet. This makes it hard if not impossible for patient to detect wounds or even fractures. Diabetes damages blood vessels interfering with the normal supply of nutrients. This can lead to weak bones increasing the risk for fractures.
Left untreated, the patient continues to use the injured foot resulting to more fractures and even joint dislocations. This can lead to foot deformities and long term disabilities.
Symptoms of Charcot Foot
In some cases, people may experience pain but this is not pronounced compared to those without neuropathy. A clear indication of Charcot Foot is swelling and tenderness in affected areas of the foot which is associated with fractures or injury.
Therapeutic shoes – a special shoe is used to facilitate proper healing of the fracture. These shoes can be designed to conform with the unusual shape of the foot. This can also reduce the risk of wounds or ulcers.
Casts can be used to immobilize the foot during healing and prevent further injury. This is equally effective in reducing swelling. A walking brace, crutch or wheelchair is used to prevent weight from being placed on the feet. The cast is replaced every week or two to ensure proper fit at all times.
Surgery is the treatment of choice for severe foot deformity. This is required for correcting and treating fractures and dislocations. This is used when conservative treatments fail to correct the condition. At our practice located in Brooklyn, NY, we specialize in helping people find relief from charcot foot. To schedule an appointment call 718-624-7537.
Patients sometimes joke about their bunions, but in reality, this foot problem is no laughing matter. Untreated, bunions can lead to an array of issues that affect your feet, legs and even your back. Dr. Joseph Stuto is a foot doctor, located in Brooklyn, who often treats patients who struggle with bunions due to walking long city blocks and working on their feet. Understand the various treatment options for bunions and how Dr. Stuto can help you get some relief.
What is the Cause of Bunions?
Bunions develop over time due to excessive stress on the feet and toes. That undue stress is often caused by spending extended periods of time walking while wearing poorly made shoes. Women often struggle with bunions because they sometimes prioritize fashion over function when selecting heels to wear for work. Bunions are also common in ballerinas and dancers because they spend so much time on their toes and feet in uncomfortable shoes. Patients are sometimes prone to developing bunions due to genetics.
Why Bunions Are Problematic?
Bunions cause the toes to bend together unnaturally and a large bump forms on the inside of the foot. Though some people may assume that bunions are mostly an aesthetic problem, they can also cause other issues if allowed to persist. For instance, the pain from bunions can become so intense that it is impossible to walk normally. When you walk abnormally it could put a strain on your legs and back. The pressure on the toes over time could cause arthritic symptoms.
What are My Treatment Options?
There are a number of viable treatments for bunions. One is to wear a special orthotic device designed by your Brooklyn foot doctor that will train your toe back into the proper position. Medication is also prescribed to reduce inflammation and pain as the bunion heals. In advanced cases, a procedure called a bunionectomy may be necessary to realign the toe.
Call for Help with Your Bunions
You do not have to live with bunions and allow them to get worse. Have them treated by a skilled foot doctor. Call Dr. Stuto's Brooklyn office at (718) 624-7537 today to schedule an appointment